The most notable change for Boston from Game 1 was that Gerald Green got the start in place of Amir Johnson since it was his turn in the never-ending carousel that is that starting 4 slot for Boston. He immediately rewarded Brad Stevens with a couple of threes.
It would be the last positive development to happen to Boston for the rest of the night.
The Celtics seemed to base their initial offensive strategy on the hopes that their results on open jumpers could not possibly be worse than Game 1. It really did not.
This led to several Celtics taking it upon themselves to drive into the lane and try to score closer to the basket. Unfortunately, since no one could hit a jumper, Cleveland was content crashing everyone into the paint on defense, leading to several blocks, several turnovers, and several ugly possessions.
Meanwhile, the one major knock on the Cavaliers from Game 1 was their three-point shooting, and my LORD what would happen if they actually hit their threes. Welp, we found out tonight, as Cleveland hit 19 long bombs on the night, often with little resistance.
Isaiah Thomas continued to see a non-stop barrage of Cavaliers hedging and showing on pick-and-rolls, and he still did not have an answer for it. He finished the night with 2 points, no field goals, and a strained right hip that forced him to miss the second half. There is no word yet on his availability for Game 3.
There’s plenty of ugly trivia notes to choose from to describe how the night went. The score was 72-31 by halftime. Cleveland was up by 50 at one point. Cleveland went on a 31-6 runs through the first 9 minutes of the second quarter. The garbage-time lineups were in by the 4 minute mark of the third quarter.
Even the “Let’s go, Celtics” chant that adds a heartwarming final note to every Celtics’ season (at home), seemed half-hearted and distant.
Make no mistake, there’s a very good chance this was the final home game of the year, as this series is looking very much like a sweep. Few if any people gave Boston a chance to win this series, but no one was expecting the complete and utter domination that Cleveland has wrought in the first two games.
Perhaps it was his snub from the top-3 of MVP voting spurring him on, but LeBron looked even more unstoppable than usual tonight. Kevin Love is hitting any shot he wants. Kylie Irving is getting into the lane at will. The closest thing Boston has had to an answer thus far has been Jaylen Brown, and his most notable contribution so far has been a non-stop barrage of Space Jam references. It’s as if whatever spirits in charge of bringing the good luck Boston received at the beginning of the week realized they went too far and tried to issue a giant makeup call.
There’s not much else to say in regards to this game. Celtics fans were wondering how big the gap was between their team and LeBron’s team. So far, they’ve received a pretty resounding answer.
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